Playful bear cub has a waterside scratch

This playful grizzly bear looked like he was itching for a dip in the water as he used a submerged river branch to have a good old scratch.

The playful cub was spotted scratching his back and head in Russia's Kuril Lake, mimicking kids' favourite Baloo in the hit film the Jungle Book.

The laid back bear, who could grow up to weigh a whopping 500kg, was snapped by photographer Sergey Ivanov in the Far East of Russia.

The bear did not appear troubled by the chilly waters as he enjoyed a swim and a scratch before shaking himself dry.

Using a 600mm lens, the amateur photographer snapped the adorable scenes but kept a safe distance to make sure he didn't disturb the cub from his routine.

The bear seemed quite content frolicking around in the freezing river in scenes more familiar to those in the Walt Disney animated classic.

Sergey said: "It was a really funny performance to be able to watch.

"He was so busy playing with his new toy stick that he didn't even care that I was taking photos of him.

"The bear spent more than half an hour messing around with the stick and enjoying himself so I had plenty of time to be able to take the sequence of shots.

"It was funny to see the bear having fun and playing like all youngsters do and it just so happens that he came across the stick so he had something to entertain him whilst he was in the water."